Spanish PM Rajoy Rejects Puigdemont’s Call for New Talks

Flag of Spain and Catalonia Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Flag of Spain and Catalonia Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has urged for talks with the Spanish government after the separatist parties won the majority in the regional election of Catalonia.

Mr. Carles Puigdemont, the former president of the regional government of Catalonia, called for talks in Brussels or any other EU country.

Speaking in Brussels on Friday, Mr. Puigdemont said, “Catalonia wants to be an independent state.”

“This is the wish of the Catalan people. I think the plan of Mariano Rajoy is not working, so we have to find new ways to tackle this crisis,” Mr. Puigdemont added.

Catalonia, the enriched region of Spain, fell into intense political crisis after the former Catalan President Mr. Puigdemont declared independence from Spain following an independence referendum where his government demanded that more than 90 percent of the Catalans voted in favor of independence.

To learn more about the Catalan crisis, read- Spain: Too Eager to Trigger the Article 155?

Spain triggered Article 155 and imposed direct rule in Catalonia. The central Spanish government announced an election in Catalonia to get rid of the crisis.

But the election result turned out as a new nightmare for the Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy after the separatist Catalan parties won the majority in the election.

The Spanish PM Mr. Mariano Rajoy, however, has rejected Puigdemont’s call for new talks. He said he would hold talks with the new head of the Catalan government.

Mr. Mariano Rajoy said the winner of the Thursday’s election is Inés Arrimadas, the leader of the Citizens Party.

Citizens Party wants Catalonia to remain a semi-autonomous region of Spain. The party won 35 seats in the latest election.

In the meantime, the conservative Popular Party (PP), the Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy belongs to, has its worst result with winning only three seats.

After all the votes counted, the pro-independence parties of Catalonia have been found winning the majority of the seats. The pro-independence Together for Catalonia (JxCat) won 34 seats, Catalan Republican Left (ERC) won 32 seats, and the Popular Unity (CUP) won 4 seats.

The pro-independence parties together have won 70 seats. While the anti-independence Citizens (Cs) won 37 seats, Socialists (PSC) won 17 seats, and Popular Party (PP) won 3 seats.

Mariano Rajoy, however, said he hoped the election would bring stability to the region and said his government was “willing to talk realistically and inside the law” with the future government of Catalonia.  “I offer Catalonia this because we care about the people,” Mr. Rajoy said.

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